Transition to a qualified home-based workforce

From 2020-2025, home-based early learning services will transition to a qualified workforce.

This means that by 1 January 2025, 80% of your home-based educators must have one of the following qualifications:

  • A ‘grand-parented’ Level 3 ECE qualification (this means a Level 3 qualification completed before 1 January 2022)
  • A Level 4 or higher ECE qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, or otherwise approved by the Ministry of Education (we will publish a list of approved qualifications here as soon as it is available)
  • A primary teaching qualification
  • Te Ara Tuarua (the level Level 5 kōhanga reo qualification) or higher (Tohu Whakapakari)

The remaining 20% of your educators must either be in induction (first 6 months) or training (up to a further 2 years).

Funding rates

At the end of the five-year transition, there will be only one funding rate available — the quality funding rate. 

Until 1 January 2025, the rate at which you are funded will depend on the percentage of your home-based educators with qualifications by the dates in the tables below.


Quality funding rate
Date  Minimum % of your educators with a required qualification Minimum % of your educators with at least 5 credits towards a required qualification Maximum % of your educators in training or induction (excludes those with credits towards a required qualification)
Until 1 January 2021

All of your educators need to have either:

a) a completed Level 3 or above ECE qualification


b) at least 5 credits of an ECE qualification at Level 4 or above (where the licence is for no more than 60 children)


c) a primary teaching qualification.

None permitted
From 1 January 2021 30% 50% 20%
From 1 January 2022 50% 30% 20%
From January 2023 70% 10% 20%
From January 2024 80% 0% 20%


Standard funding rate
Date Minimum % of your educators with a required qualification
Until 1 January 2022 No qualification requirements
1 January 2022 10% 
1 January 2023 30%
1 January 2024 60%

The Funding Handbook will be updated with this information by 1 January 2021.

Read frequently asked questions about the five-year transition(external link)

Visiting teacher support payment

There is funding available through Budget 2020 for home-based services on the standard funding rate as they transition to a qualified workforce. If your service has at least one educator studying toward a Level 4 ECE or Te Ara Tuarua qualification, you are eligible for up to $5092 (inc. GST) annually. This payment is split over the three funding periods per year, and is to help visiting teachers provide extra support to these educators in training. The payment is a per service payment, not per educator.

The payment will be processed at the same time as operational funding payments. In order to receive the payment, you must attest that you have had an educator studying during the last funding period. You must also keep records of educators that are studying (for example, evidence of enrolment in study towards a level 4 qualification or Te Ara Tuarua). You will be required to supply these documents to our audit or licensing teams if requested, and the payment may be recovered if no evidence is available.

The payment has been provided to help visiting teachers offer some extra support to educators in training. This might be through additional contact hours, specific coursework discussion times with individuals, or study groups with multiple educators. There is no requirement to complete records of how the payment has been spent.


Find out if you are eligible in the flowchart below. You can apply from 1 October 2020, and the first payment will be on 1 November 2020. You can be paid in arrears to cover the period from July–September 2020 onwards.

*Funding periods are June–September, October–January, and February–May.


Application form

Click here to complete the online application form(external link)

If you have any questions about the Visiting Teacher Support Payment, please email


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